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Best Overall: Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H at Amazon
"The E 15 is built for work and productivity, which is clear from its no-nonsense, utilitarian features."
Best 2-in-1: Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible at Amazon
"Overall, it’s a tight little device that one customer praised by saying, 'this is what I came to the future for."
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Acer Aspire S 13 at Amazon
"The machine comes in touchscreen and non-touchscreen models."
Best for Gaming: Acer Predator 17 at Amazon
"If you’re up for some marathon gaming sessions, you’ll certainly appreciate the Cooler Master fan module."
Best Budget: 2017 Acer Flagship CB3-532 at Amazon
"Acer claims the battery will last up to 12 hours, but several tests proved that it can power on for several hours after that."
Best Portable: Acer Chromebook 11 at Amazon
"Its 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768 screen boasts wide viewing angles and minimal glare."
Best Design: Acer Swift 3 at Amazon
"The backlit keyboard is spacious and even includes a fingerprint sensor connected with Windows Hello."
Best for Students: Acer Spin 5 at Amazon
"Its hinge rotates 360 degrees to fold back into tent and tablet modes, which makes it perfect for going from studying to streaming."
With the Acer Aspire E 15, you really have it all. With powerful performance and a long-lasting battery, this model offers some of the best specs on the market, at a reasonable price. It holds an 8th-generation Intel Core i3-8130U processor, high-speed Intel Turbo Boost, 6GB dual channel memory, and a 1TB hard drive. The display features full HD resolution, although the brightness is a bit low. The E 15 is built for work and productivity, which is clear from its no-nonsense, utilitarian features. On the sides, you’ll find a good amount of port space, for USB 3.0, 2.0, and Type-C, Ethernet, HDMI, as well as an SD card slot, and a DVD burner. Altogether, it’s a great value, especially for working professionals.
The Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible is one of the most versatile hybrids on the market. It can be used in four modes: Notebook, Display, Tent and Tablet. It has a 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768-pixel touchscreen display and a 360-degree hinge that folds back to a tablet configuration. For its size, it also has a pretty decent battery life that will last you around 10 hours. The basic model houses an Intel N2840 processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage space. You can jump up to an N3150 processor and more memory and storage, but that of course will cost you. No matter how you configure it, though, you’ll have a very affordable and incredibly versatile machine. Overall, it’s a tight little device that one customer praised by saying, “this is what I came to the future for.”
If you have a little more cash on hand to spend, take a close look at the Acer Aspire S13. With a 13-inch, 1920 x 1080 LED-backlit IPS display, it’s smaller than the Aspire E15, but the machine comes in touchscreen and non-touchscreen models. Depending on how you plan to use this ultraportable, the touchscreen might be worth the splurge. It comes with a 7th-generation Intel Core i7-7500U processor, plus 8GB of LPDDR3 SDRAM onboard memory and a 256GB solid state drive. It will score you about 13 hours of battery life, which is one of the best on this list and overall impressive considering it weighs under three pounds.
If you’re concerned about safety, you’ll love its fingerprint reader, which can prevent unauthorized users from accessing your PC. It also supports Windows Hello to enable you to authenticate and log into Windows and some websites without a password.
Gaming laptops are entirely different beasts. They are generally bulkier, deliver more power and cost a pretty penny more. And measuring 1.56 x 16.65 x 12.66 inches (HWD) and weighing nearly 10 pounds, the Acer Predator 17 certainly doesn’t dispel any of those notions. It’s powered by a 7th-generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor and sports a 17.3-inch IPS screen with 1,920 x 1,080 resolution.
If you’re up for some marathon gaming sessions, you’ll certainly appreciate the Cooler Master fan module, which can be swapped out with the optical drive and prevents the laptop from running too hot. By pressing Button 5, you can activate PredatorSense, a gaming control panel that lets you customize features such as macro programmable keys and backlit lighting controls. Oh, and did we mention it’s VR-ready? The Predator 17 is by no means a subtle gaming laptop, but for those who take gaming seriously, it’s a great fit.
Technology continues to make amazing advances, but still it seems our gadgets are getting pricier and pricier. (Looking at you, Apple!) So it blows our mind that you can get a laptop as good as the Acer Chromebook 15 for under $160. While the design is nothing to write home about, the 15.6-inch LED-backlit screen feels spacious compared to other Chromebooks. Of course, that means it’s not as portable as its 11-inch and 13-inch siblings, but it’s still slim and lightweight enough to carry around with one hand.
Inside it houses a 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3060 (with integrated Intel HD Graphics 400) and 2GB of RAM, which is more than enough for your daily surfing and word processing. Perhaps most impressively, Acer claims the battery will last up to 12 hours, but several tests proved that it can power on for several hours after that.
Keep in mind that this is a Certified Refurbished laptop, but Amazon guarantees it will look and work like new. Still not convinced? It ships with a 90-day warranty to ease your fears.
The eye-catching Chromebook 11 sports a clean, white chassis that, while made of plastic, still feels sturdy. Under the hood, it has an Intel Celeron N2840 Dual-Core Processor 2.16GHz with Intel Burst Technology up to 2.58GHz, plus 4GB of DDR3L SDRAM memory and 16GB of internal storage. Combined, that’s suitable for all your Web-browsing and YouTube-watching needs; multi-tasking might slow you down a bit, though. Its 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768 screen boasts wide viewing angles and minimal glare, making it equally productive in indoor and outdoor settings.
Measuring 8.03 x 11.57 x .73 inches and weighing under 2.5 pounds, it’s without a doubt the most travel-friendly of this bunch. A few reviewers report that the compact keyboard takes some getting used to, but that’s the price you pay for ultimate portability.
If it’s great design that you’re after, the Acer Swift 3 is a noble – albeit budget – option; it’s about as close as a Macbook as you’ll get while still running Windows. But as we know, looks can be deceiving because it’s built around a plastic frame, so unfortunately it doesn’t feel as solid as a Macbook. Its 14-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution display runs a bit dim, but has applaudable viewing angles and can even tilt back 180 degrees to avoid strange glare. The backlit keyboard is spacious and even includes a fingerprint sensor connected with Windows Hello, so you can sign in with just one touch.
Available in various configurations, from an i3 to i5 Core, up to 8GB of RAM and an 256GB SSD, the Acer Swift 3 is more than capable of carrying out basic tasks like streaming video and Web browsing.
Whether you’re dashing off to class or hunkering down in the library for a marathon study session, the Acer Spin 5 is an A+ pick for students. The machine is solidly built and features a well laid out backlit keyboard and trackpad. Its hinge rotates 360 degrees to fold back into tent and tablet modes, which makes it perfect for going straight from studying to streaming. Inside, it has a powerful 7th-generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor with 2.5GHz with Turbo Boost technology up to 3.1GHz (3MB L3 cache). Its 13-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display runs a bit dim, which means you should probably avoid using it out on the quad, but is just fine for classroom use. And best yet, the Acer Spin 5 is surprisingly affordable if you’re on a student budget.
We bought two top-rated Acer laptops that our reviewers tested for hours at a time over the course of several weeks. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these laptops, from their operating systems to their design. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
Windows vs. Chrome OS - Most of Acer’s laptops come with Windows, but Chrome OS is also an option. If you want to play games, or you need to run any Windows applications for work or school, stay away from Chrome OS. If you can get most of your work done in a web browser, then Acer’s Chrome OS laptops offer great performance and battery life at a lower price point.
Style - Acer covers all of the bases with everything from affordable 2-in-1 tablet hybrids to powerful business and gaming machines. If you want touchscreen and pen input support at great price, look at Acer’s Spin line. The Aspire line also has decent performance and styling at affordable prices, while the Predator line is what you’re looking for if gaming is your thing.
Gaming - Acer’s strongest points are its budget laptops and its gaming laptops, but the two categories don’t usually overlap. If you want the best gaming experience possible, Acer’s Predator line includes powerful video cards, massive displays, and distinctive styling touches. If you want a gaming machine that can double as a business laptop in professional settings, look for an Acer Aspire with a decent graphics card and a big display.
Extensive battery life
Too many pre-installed apps
Some internet connectivity issues
A little bulky
This laptop came highly recommended by our testers, with one reviewer praising it for its "quality display, relatively high speeds, an easy setup, and a great operating system (Windows 10).” Our testers also liked its long battery life and budget-friendly price. In terms of negatives, one of our reviewers reported issues with the laptop disconnecting from the internet and also wished it were more lightweight. According to our testers, it also came with a lot of pre-installed software. However, for our reviewers, the value outweighed the negatives: “For such a fantastically low price, this laptop is an excellent choice,” one of our testers raved.
Google app integration
Poor battery life
Our testers loved this computer for its stylish design, ease of use, and convenient Google app integration. “It is intuitive, fast, and attractive, and the added touchscreen feature comes in handy,” explained one of our reviewers. In terms of downsides, one of our testers reported some ghost clicking (the cursor clicked on things when the user didn’t mean to). One of our reviewers also called the battery life “unimpressive.” According to our testers, though, overall it was a great purchase. “It was just fun to use,” one of our reviewers gushed.